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Prophecy: An Elizabethan Thriller (Giordano Bruno #2)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,030 Ratings  ·  329 Reviews
S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult.

It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align—an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Anchor (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mary (BookHounds)
This is a beautifully written, historical fiction thriller that takes place during the rule of Queen Elizabeth and in her court. If you are a fan of this era and know a bit about the whispers of occult and astrology that occurred during her reign, you are really going to enjoy this story of conspiracy and mystery. This is probably one of my favorite time periods to read about since it truly was an age of discovery and that these ideas were often described as heresy and treason. Yet, in the world ...more
Jun 19, 2011 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I've read this book I can say that I should have read Heresy first, so, if you are looking into reading this, don't listen to those people who say you can read this one first and be all right. Bruno alludes to things that have happened in the first book and, while there are no spoilers that I can see, there is always that fear that those will appear.

That being said, this is a fantastic read. I loved the history, the intrigue, the suspense, and the writing. Elizabethan London comes alive
Apr 30, 2011 Bookish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prophecy tells of a shadowy and dangerous web of plots and subplots in Elizabethan England.

I skipped to the second in a series of historical thrillers set in the Renaissance featuring Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk excommunicated for heresy. You do not need to have read the first, Heresy, to enjoy Prophecy by S.J. Parris.
By the time Prophecy starts, Bruno has already been excommunicated and is now in Elizabethan England working as a spy in the midst of the secret enclaves of Papists. Rumors o
Catelyn May
Jan 19, 2012 Catelyn May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is the second book in S. J. Parris' Giordano Bruno series. If you're a history buff, you know how this ends (hint: there will be flames) and that actually makes me quite sad while reading about Bruno and his way ahead of his time (i.e., heretical) ideas about the universe. As somewhat of an expert on Elizabethan history the appearance of Sir Philip Sidney as Bruno's friend also fills me with a hint of sadness. Obviously, while writing about historical figures you know that eventually they w ...more
Se disser que chegaram a sair-me da boca alguns palavrões quando era obrigada a interromper a leitura, é fácil perceber porque dei 4 estrelas a este livro!...

Tão bom ou melhor que o primeiro da série (Heresia), Profecia apresenta-nos um Giordano Bruno muito humano, cheio de dúvidas (sobre si mesmo e os que o rodeiam) e que se vê envolvido em situações que tanto nos fazem sorrir (nem sempre com a boca...) como temer por ele.

A narrativa na 1ª pessoa e no presente ajuda a agarrar-nos à história, e
Jun 03, 2015 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So…. I made a mistake in embarking on number two it would seem. Number one (Heresy) kept me enthralled with frequent history lessons.

This one didn’t manage it in the same manner. It’s like ‘Heresy Light’, the low calorie version. A little like a salad on a restaurant menu, just a few leaves and a tomato but for some reason, twice the price of every other dish. I’m left wondering if the main character is continually watered down over the next few in this series, and if this same restaurant has g
In some ways, Prophecy reminded me of the traditional “lad lit” genre: a male maverick secret agent, a competent fighter, attractive to women, off on some daring adventure of derring-do. Like any classic hero of “lad lit”, Giordano Bruno has a whiff of Mary Sue about him: associated with the big names of the time and naturally indispensable to the security of the realm. What’s delightful about Prophecy is that it knows what it is full well, and Stephanie Merritt (real name of author S. J. Parris ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PROPHECY by S.J. Parris
Well Written and Impeccably Researched


by S.J. Parris
Book Two in Series, first book: Heresy
Format: Hardcover
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (May 3, 2011)
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 5 KB
Print Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (May 3, 2011)
Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
Requested ARC from Publisher

Description (Amazon)

S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmosp
May 08, 2011 thewanderingjew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an historical novel, taking place in the 1500’s, during the time of the rivalry between Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, for their rightful place on the throne. To protect her family’s right to rule England, and prevent Mary, from ascending to the throne next, Elizabeth I, the Queen of England, has imprisoned Mary for years.

A plot has been uncovered that hopes to restore Mary, (daughter of King James V, whose son ascends to the throne after Elizabeth I
J.M. Cornwell
Jul 10, 2011 J.M. Cornwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conspiracies and political plots wrapped about with magic and heresy in a heady combination.

Dr. John Dee, astrologer and philosopher to Queen Elizabeth I, and Dr. Giordano Bruno, King Henri of France’s protégé, are absorbed by the coming Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the beginning of a new quadrant of the sky, the beginning of a new age that happens only once a millennium. Neither knows that murder, conspiracies involving Queen Elizabeth and Mary Stewart, once queen of Scotland, wil
Andreea Daia
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.

I'm writing this as I still have about 30 pages to go, and, if my opinion changes, I'll update my review once I finish the novel.

First and foremost, this is not a bad thriller - it has suspense, mystery, tension, and the possible suspect keeps changing over and over (even if in the first ha
1583 is the year of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, prophesied to be the moment of Queen Elizabeth's downfall. Now in London following his perilous adventure in Oxford (Heresy), Giordano Bruno is residing in the household of the French ambassador, planted there by Walsingham to learn information about attempts to restore Mary Stuart to the throne, and Catholicism to England, via intervention from the Duke de Guise of France. There is much apocalyptic angst among the populace, stirred ...more
Nuno Magalhães
Mar 01, 2015 Nuno Magalhães rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fãs de Thrillers Históricos
Gosto bastante do estilo da escrita de S. J. Parris, uma escrita límpida e escorreita que torna a leitura num ato de prazer. Contudo, neste segundo livro sobre as aventuras "detetivescas" de Giordano Bruno na Inglaterra do reinado da Rainha Isabel Tudor, a trama em si continua a não ser muito cativante.

É certo que se consegue apreciar o clima que se vivia nas cortes da Europa daquela época, divididas entre os monarcas que apoiavam os movimentos protestantes versus os que apoiavam os católicos,
Oct 16, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in a series set in Elizabethan England. I read the print version of the first and wasn't sure an audio version would be as good or easy to understand. Parris writes a complex story involving many characters. However, I enjoyed this outing of Giordano Bruno, a former monk who escaped the inquisition in his native Italy. Bruno has influential friends in high places, and he serves as spy for the Queen, who fears for her life. This is an interesting story about the period seen fro ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Good Reads for providing me with the ARC of Prophecy. I read Heresy - the first book of the series - and enjoyed it very much. I was hoping Prophecy lived up to the expectations and it did.

Ms. Parris does an excellent job at holding her readers' interest with a charismatic, quick-thinking lead character (Giordano Bruno) and a brisk, intriguing plot. This time around, Queen Elizabeth calls on Bruno and her personal astrologer John Dee to solve the murders of several of her maids of hon
Gary Bonn
Mar 05, 2016 Gary Bonn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading so may books of an average-good quality, this came as a glorious surprise. Somehow I've missed the first in the series but as this one is a stand-alone (complete) book I can be confident the first is too.
Here goes...

Characters: Good and well described. As Giordano Bruno is a hero of mine for other reasons it was lovely to see him in action :)

Story: Clever - very clever. Pretty complicated with poor Giordano flummoxed most of the time.

Atmosphere/setting: Superb. I was immersed in El
Catherine Berry
Oct 09, 2013 Catherine Berry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic book. I'm a big fan of C J Sansom's "Shardlake" murder mystery series set in the Tudor period so this was the next step for me. Parris' attention to detail is remarkable and really brings the Elizabeth period to life. Not only can she describe normal, everday life of the common people, but Parris is an expert when it comes to Elizabeth and her court. The Queen, Giordano Bruno (the hero), Walsingham and Sir Philip Sidney, all come to life and are exactly how I imagined them t ...more
Historical fiction, but not at its best...unfortunately! Elizabeth the First's England in 1583, with the whole range of diseases, rivalry, crimes, murdering plans against the Queen, and mainly the battle between Catholics and Protestants still going on. In this kind of atmosphere, Giordano Bruno - the man known as a great philosopher, theologian,mathematician, dabbing in cosmology,magic and many other topics - comes to England to find shelter from Italian Inquisition. He stays until 1585, writes ...more
Maggie Kiely
This is second book in the Giordano Bruno series. Bruno is a real life character who was burned at the stake approx 1600. He is an excommunicated monk now a detective and the narrator of the books. I find Bruno quite an interesting character. He seems to annoy everyone he comes in contact with. As a detective he is an intellectual. He is generally ‘good’ perhaps a bit too good at times. He never seems to do anything with spontaneity. These books are a mixture of ‘real’ plus fictional characters. ...more
Patrick Bättig
This is the second Tudor thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, an Italian "monk, scientist, philosopher, and magician" and excommunicated heretic. Although his biography sounds exotic, Bruno was in fact a historical figure. His lively adventures in 16th-century Oxford were the basis of Heresy, the first novel in the series, pseudonymously written by Stephanie Merritt, a former editor on these pages. Now, in Prophesy, it is 1583, the year of the Great Conjunction – a celestial meeting of Jupiter and ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
Prophesy takes us to that mysterious visit to Dr. Dee's library at Mortlake, a moment in Francis Yates that has apparently fascinated many of us. And the historical pressures around the magus are well developed in the purely fictitious guise of Giordano Bruno, detective. He is again regretfully investigating the murders of two women who have been left in staged positions, with prophetic astrological signs engraved on their breasts. I will not give away the villain(s) but I highly enjoyed this re ...more
Bear Wintar
May 13, 2015 Bear Wintar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second episode of Giordano Bruno's English adventures took me by surprise: the book is written entirely in the present tense (unlike the first book in the Bruno series), which gives it an unnecessary air of constant urgency. Usually, the present tense is used only at certain moments in the plot, to add momentum and tension to the events - in "Prophecy" it seems to be pressuring the reader all the time, which many might find questionable, as it takes a while to get used to.

Getting used to it
Sílvia Mourão
Feb 11, 2016 Sílvia Mourão rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus
Um livro empolgante, com um enredo bastante elaborado e que nos prende do princípio ao fim. Penso que tem um ritmo bastante bom, sem descrições demasiado alongadas e com um bom entrosamento entre os dados históricos e os dados ficcionais. Isto faz com que a leitura seja fácil e fluída. O difícil, muitas vezes, é conseguir parar!
Este livro é posterior ao "Heresia" e nele há frequentes referências ao seu antecessor. Porém, não é necessário ler o "Heresia" para compreender e gostar do "Profecia".
Christopher Taylor
This is the first of Parris' Bruno Giordano mysteries I have read, and I enjoyed it. The writing is a bit odd, in first person present tense, so as the book is told it is narrated as if it is happening while you sit around with the main character. But it works fairly well and I suppose the author was looking for a more immediate, different feel than the usual past tense.

Bruno finds himself acting as a spy for the Elizebethan government against supporters of Queen Mary of Scotland, but he himself
Elizabeth Russell
loved it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anthony Fisher
Unfortunately I read this book out of sequence, annoying, as I do have the first book of the series. I did enjoy this intriguing, mystery, spy story set in Tudor London in the 16th Century. Added to the mix is the hero of the book the 'Spy', a Italian ex priest Giordano Bruno (having read the 2nd book first, I missed the storyline leading to his acceptance as a Spy for the English – but that's another story!

I do not write 'spoilers' into my reviews, sufficient to say, there is plenty going on in
Alissa Mccarthy
Jul 21, 2015 Alissa Mccarthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t realize that the author had published this second book in the series but was delighted to find it. Historical fiction set later in the reign of Elizabeth I when the rivalry between her and Mary Stewart was peaking and rumors of “the Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn causing the end an age fuels the fire. Catholics and Protestants are at opposite ends and right and wrong often simply depend on which side of the struggle you sit. Intrigue and murder mysteries kept the plot exciting ...more
Raymond Walker
Mar 17, 2016 Raymond Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on a whim as I often do. The cover notes sounded interesting and it seemed to have quite a few good write up's. I did not expect much from it as most historical whodunit's are very similar though I usually quite enjoy them. This was the first by S J Parris that I have read and I must say that it is not just the same old thing. Firstly it is better thought out and plotted than most that I have read and secondly it is far better written. The language is not always fanciful ma ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat slow beginning due to development of the story, otherwise an excellent page turner. I confess to reading through the night and most of the next day. Character development, plot, suspense all equal to the best of the best historical mysteries. Personally, the story would have been more satisfying if one or two conspirators received their just desserts. Lady Marie de Castelnau is as finely drawn antagonist as the cunning, ruthless Lady de Winter in Dumas' The Three Musketeers. But that' ...more
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S.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contempo ...more
More about S.J. Parris...

Other Books in the Series

Giordano Bruno (5 books)
  • Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1)
  • Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno #4)
  • Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno  #5)

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